NCAA Football

Steve Mariucci and Arkansas Engage In Media Flirtation

Steve Mariucci, current NFL Network analyst, appears connected to the open Arkansas Razorbacks job. Coachingsearch.com reported the former 49ers and Lions head coach’s interest and CBS Sports verified that he hadn’t yet been contacted.

As coaching pursuits go, that’s normal. Agents answer phone calls from athletic departments or search firms and then relay those messages to a head coach to gauge his thoughts. Deny contact publicly and it means the target would walk to the campus for the right price. Should the target’s name not come up again, it means the money wasn’t right or the school just needed leverage.

Mariucci hasn’t donned a headset since 2005, a year in which he was fired by the Detroit Lions. Presumably, he didn’t develop wide receivers at a fast enough rate for General Manager Matt Millen.

His only collegiate head coaching experience happened in 1996 at the University of California. It produced a 6-6 record and an Aloha Bowl appearance.

That’s a bit lower than the bar the Razorbacks set in 2012.

Still, it’s not hard to see why plenty of coaches view Arkansas as an extremely attractive gig.

Senior quarterback Tyler Wilson offers stability. Running back Kniles Davis is back from injury and probably gains more yards from scrimmage than Petrino-Dorrell monthly texts.

LSU and Alabama travel to Fayetteville.

Mariucci’s professional tenures generated two playoff runs. His squads in San Francisco won the NFC West in both his first and final years. Nothing in Detroit of note beyond six wins and a $5 million annual salary occurred.

Mariucci’s background is in quarterbacks. His time in Green Bay with Brett Favre basically wrote the resume for the rest of his career. Is he the answer for Arkansas?

It’s nearly impossible to find the skeletons or motorcycles in a coach’s closet unless he’s rampant in his behavior.

Steve Mariucci doesn’t have the recent college success to impress the Arkansas fan base. He’s a safe hire for a school in need of one if he’s even remotely involved.

Bobby Petrino‘s firing may keep the Razorbacks out of the national title chase. Tabbing Steve Mariucci might keep mistresses out of the athletic office but it won’t enhance the SEC progress Arkansas fought two decades to make.